“We are bang on schedule,” says Felbermayr’s Area Manager Volker Brand. As a construction engineer, he is mostly responsible for the power station project’s technical matters. Thus, he is proud of the fact that construction work is advancing on schedule despite geological difficulties.
Construction progress on schedule
Demolition work on the existing barrage has started in spring of 2017. The new weir system was built subsequently. The latter was completed as planned in late 2017. “We are currently working on the deepening of the Traun River on the power station’s downstream side,” says Brand. This is necessary to extend the barrage’s drop height and a prerequisite for an increase in power generation. The concrete fish ladder will also be completed shortly. At the same time, sealing work for the power house’s erection will commence. Steel hydraulic engineering work is carried out successively to the construction phases in concrete construction. “We plan to install the turbines at the end of the year,” says Brand, stressing yet another milestone of the power station construction project. Water is supposed to flow through the inlet channel and into the turbines for the first time in spring of 2019. The station is scheduled for completion and commissioning in summer of 2019.
Benefits of the new replacement construction
The decision to replace the 130-year-old power station was preceded by extensive investigations in order to ensure that it represented the current state of the art in both ecological and economic terms. To increase the drop height, for instance, the Kohlwehr barrage further downstream was demolished. This results in a 2.5-fold increase in electricity production and an extension of the Traun River’s flow length. This yields significant benefits for the river which carries crystal-clear water from the mountains of the Salzkammergut region which, in turn, benefits fish and other small organisms. Furthermore, a fish ladder in vertical slot design allows the aquatic creatures to pass the Traun River power station without being harmed. Economically, the increased utilisation of the available water allows for a possible annual power generation of some 45 gigawatt hours. This roughly corresponds to the annual power demand of 10,000 households.